"I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life;
to put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived." ~Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Pinewood Derby Woes

The Pinewood Derby seems to be a rite of passage for a boy.  With four brothers, I remember all the buzz that would go around our house for weeks leading up to the race.  My dad was always working in the Scout program and because he was an engineer and had a million tools, Scouts would "live" at our house as my dad would be helping many of them with their cars each year.  I have so many memories associated with the PWD.  

Cody and Ethan have been really excited about this being his first year to participate.  Even though he was in Cubs last year, they didn't hold a PWD for some reason.  And Ethan being a little engineer himself, he's been looking forward to making his own car to race.  Several weeks ago Cody found a book about PWD cars and they got to work.   Over the course of the last three weeks, our crawl space has been transformed into a little private workshop for these two.  They would have used the garage, but it gets so cold out there and we have to park in there.  So they set up shop in a place where they could leave everything out and come back to it.  I never got any pictures of them working on the car down there, but I wish I had!

Practice spraying on some scrap wood.

The PWD was held last night.  Ethan has been praying, yes PRAYING, all week long that he would do well in the Derby.  He's prayed for that at meals, at bedtime, in family prayers, etc.  With twenty or so boys participating, I knew his chances of winning were slim but he has been so faithful and determined so I never discouraged his prayers. 

So the race happened and I can't say I enjoyed it.  At all.  I hated it when I was a kid because I didn't like seeing my brothers or their friends get their feelings hurt when their car didn't do well.  And I hate the politics involved (yes, there are politics but I won't get into that).  Being the Cub Scout Committee Chairman, Cody was in charge of quite a bit of the PWD and had to get all the awards and trophies.  Ethan ended up not winning a single thing except one of the qualifying races.  I wasn't crazy about how they did the "Fan Favorite" voting and I have suggested to Cody a better way to do it next year.  Ethan did get a participation card, which all of the boys took home.

I know not every kid can win, and not every kid needs a trophy for everything they do.  It's not the world we live in, it's not how life works.  But my heart was ripped out last night when Ethan tried to hold back tears when they announced the winners, and finally started crying on the way home.  He' a boy that doesn't cry- he's very stoic and serious.  But he ran into the house and went to his room and cried his eyes out.  He was just so disappointed and sad!  He said "Everyone leave me alone.  No one talk to me!!"  To make things a little better, I let him saty up ay past his bedtime and cuddle on our bed and watch part of "The Avengers" with me.  But this morning he woke up with bloodshot eyes and was still really sad and didn't want to go to school because the second place winner is in his class (his good friend, Cutler) and he just KNEW he would tease him or brag.

But the good news is that he has a year to prepare for the next PWD.  Ethan is a scientist and will come up with an even BETTER car.  It's a sad but necessary lesson to learn in life.  Sometimes you put 100% of yourself into something and do your best, but you still come up short and don't win.  But failures make us stronger and we learn from them.  Here's to a fantastic 2014 Pinewood Derby!!

The little boys sure got a kick out of seeing all the cars racing!  Garrett even got to say "On your mark, get set, go!" Into the microphone before one of the races.

The trusty scorekeeper.

The girls need to get used to sitting through MANY Pinewood Derby races in the next several years with three brothers!

1 comment:

Meghann said...

We had the same experience last year. We do a really similar race through our church. (we even use that exact same track!) I had three kids compete last year, and not one of them won anything, so I took home crying children. It really just got under my skin because the more I thought about it, the more I wondered if that kind of thing really belongs at church. I don't want my kids associating that bad feeling of losing with being at church, know what I mean?

This year was a little better, two out of four won something, but the youngest was still really upset. At least she has an awesome big brother that gave her one of his medals from a past year when we got home.

p.s.-tell Ethan I thought his car looked wicked cool!